trite green halloween


Happy Tuesday my friends, it was a fairly mundane day at work – just the same old routine of answering e-mails, attending meetings, and finding time to pee in between. Came home, fed the baby and put her down while Sharaun was out getting her hair did. Poked around the net for any new leaked albums of note and caught myself up on the LG15 goings-on. Not a lot here today, I’m still in feeling something of a slump in the inspiration department. That’s how it’s gonna be, so that’s how it is.

With my Keaton “featurettes” becoming more and more complicated, I decided I need to take it all to the next level and figure out how to greenscreeen her into different sequences. Since my movie-editor of choice thus far, the free Windows Movie Maker, can’t do chromakeying (the official term for blue- or green-screening something into other footage), I once again turned to the freeware program Wax. After reading a tutorial online, the whole process sounded almost braindead simple so I decided to bust out an old blue sheet we have and take some test footage of Keaton on it. With the test footage on the PC, I loaded a static image behind it and then keyed out the blue. Amazingly, in under 5min I had some very nice chromakeyed footage (you can see it here if you’re interested – it’s DivX-enocded so you may need something like VLC to view it). Putting live action instead of a static image behind the “cut in” items is trivial, and Wax supports advanced techniques like scaling and moving the bluescreened items around the frame. So, as soon as I can dream up a worthy concept, I’ll be cutting Keaton into all sorts of scenes. My first thought was to actually have her running from a real charging bear, thus bringing to life one of my better static goofs, so maybe I’ll start with that.

Halloween’s creeping up. I finally broke down and ordered my PicoBoo today, I splurged and got the one with AC outlets instead of fiddly voltage posts. I intend for it to control the wolf prop, but I’ve had some renewed interest in doing the “scarycrow” project of late – being that I think I can do it rather cheaply and easily (the motion and activation of course being the chief cost-drivers). In honesty, I’d still ideally want the prop to be a hanging man – but I’m just too much of a politically-correct coward and am concerned about what a animated “lynching” on my front lawn might come off as to the over-sensitive. Sitting today thinking about it though, I came up with another idea which I absolutely love. Right now I’m calling it the “guillotine/headman” prop, because it’s one of those. The basis of the prop would be a prone figure with his head on a chopping block or in a guillotine. In the “headman” version there would also be a standing figure holding an axe, and the whole falling-axe head-chop thing would be animated via pneumatics. The guillotine would work the same way, but not require the second headman dummy. Problem is, altho it’s an outstanding idea – it would require two-to-three pneumatic cylinders and as many solenoids, plus a PicoBoo to get the timing right. Too much money for this year, maybe filed away for next year with the “pulling his head off” man idea.

Check out the Democrats gettin’ all MySpace with their new social networking tool, partybuilder. Fancy.

Goodnight.


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